More Americans than ever are ditching dip, chucking out their chew, and stubbing out their cigarettes in favor of nicotine pouches to live a tobacco-free life. If you have also made this choice, there is a good chance that you feel much better, as you now enjoy nicotine in a cleaner, fresher, and tastier way, without spitting or disturbing others with smoke or vapor. These products come with a long list of benefits compared to those containing tobacco. But, despite this, many consumers, and most likely you too, wonder - are nicotine pouches safe? While we cannot comment on this yet due to the lack of research on them, we can speak about their side effects, which experts in the industry understand well. So, to learn more about nicotine pouch side effects, including what they are and how you can manage them, keep reading this article.
What Are Nicotine Pouch Side Effects?
These products provide a range of desirable effects, such as a satisfying buzz, great taste, and a familiar mouthfeel for users who switched from dip pouches or other smokeless traditional tobacco products. However, some less desirable effects can also potentially occur during use, known as side effects. Below, you can find out what the three most common ones are:
- Nausea: Feeling nauseous can be a common outcome of using any nicotine product, not just these, especially for first-time users. Nausea, in this context, is also known as ‘nicotine sickness,’ which can occur by consuming too much nicotine too quickly or choosing a strength that exceeds your tolerance level.
- Gum irritation: Since these products last for up to an hour and, depending on your preference and needs, get used multiple times a day, your gums may become irritated by not getting a break. This side effect is often minor and easy to mitigate or avoid entirely, which we will explain in more detail in the next section.
- Hiccups: Though not severe, hiccups can be frustrating. They usually happen as a result of swallowing too much saliva during use, which, again, is something that we will explain how you can manage.
Managing Nicotine Pouch Side Effects
You may have never encountered any undesirable effects from using these products and potentially never will. But, just in case you do, let us take you through a few ways that you can deal with them.
If you are a newbie, you can reduce the chances of feeling nauseous by taking the time to figure out what strength to start with, which can be done by thinking about your familiarity with nicotine and how you are used to it being delivered. We always recommend starting low and going slow, such as trying the 3 mg ZYN strengths first and gradually moving up to 6 mg when you feel ready. If you are an experienced user and feel this symptom, it may be that your tolerance has dropped unknowingly, in which case, temporarily moving down in strength would be a good idea. Some users find having a full stomach helps with this issue, too, which is something to consider.
Managing gum irritation and hiccups
You can minimize the side effects of gum irritation and hiccups by experimenting with the placement of your pouch. As mentioned earlier, your gums may become sore due to overexposure to nicotine and flavor, especially if you are a heavy user. So, switching sides after every pouch will ensure that each side gets a much-needed break. As for reducing hiccups caused by swallowing excess drip, try and position the pouch towards the center of your upper lip, rather than too far to the left or right side. Doing so will make you need to salivate less and swallow less, as it will be as far as possible from your salivary glands.
The Bottom Line
Whether you are looking to buy nicotine pouches online or have been using them for some time, you can now enjoy them while being aware of their potential side effects, what to look out for, and how to manage them if they arise. Although usually minor and often easily manageable, side effects can affect every user differently. So, if you feel that something is not right, cease use and seek professional advice.